Duke's Capra, Goldfeld; Capra/Mar advance to NCAA Elite Eight
Junior Ester Goldfeld and sophomore Beatrice Capra continued their runs in the NCAA Singles Championship Friday, May 23, advancing to the quarterfinal round of the tournament scheduled for Saturday. The Duke tandem of Capra and senior Hanna Mar also advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Doubles Championship with a victory Friday afternoon.
Duke and North Carolina are the only two teams with two singles players remaining in the event. Five of the eight individuals remaining in the quarterfinal round of the singles competition come from the ACC.
“It’s great for [Beatrice and Ester],” said head coach Jamie Ashworth. “It’s great for our program as well, to have two people in the quarterfinals. It’s also great for our conference that we have five of the eight in the quarterfinals. It shows the strength of our conference. There’s no easy match.”
Goldfeld, the 27th-ranked singles player in the nation, cruised past Oklahoma State’s 52nd-ranked Viktoriya Lushkova, 6-4, 6-3, in her round of 16 matchup, becoming the 27th player in Duke history to reach 35 wins in a season. Lushkova showed grit in the first set, battling back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the match at 3-3. Goldfeld bounced back after Lushkova took a 3-4 lead, winning three consecutive games to take the first set. Lushkova was unable to respond in the second set as Goldfeld closed out, 6-3. The victory extended Goldfeld’s winning streak to five matches.
“[Goldfeld] served and returned really well,” Ashworth said. “When she’s not giving her opponents points, she’s as good as anyone in the country. She’s done a really good job of that the last four sets, with the last two against Stanford yesterday and the two today. She’s hitting the ball really clean.”
Capra, ranked seventh by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), followed Goldfeld’s lead by upending Georgia’s 15th-ranked Silvia Garcia, 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. With the victory, Capra reaches the quarterfinal round of the NCAA tournament for the second time in her collegiate career. In the first set, Capra was unable to gain a significant advantage, never extending her lead beyond two games. For the second consecutive match, Capra found herself in a first-set tiebreak. In similar fashion to yesterday’s match, Capra took the first-set tiebreak by a convincing 7-4 margin. The Ellicott City, Md., native carried the momentum from her first set victory into the second set, winning, 6-2, en route to her 30th win of the season. Capra has reached the 30 wins in a season in both of her years as a Blue Devil.
“[Beatrice] got a little bit tight in the first set, but in the second set she did a good job of swinging out on the ball and getting some depth, playing inside the baseline a little better,” Ashworth said. “When she does that, she’s tough to beat. It was fun for her. She played in the stadium with a lot of Georgia fans there, obviously playing a girl from Georgia. It was a good experience for her.”
Capra returned to competition later in the day to pair with Mar in doubles action. The Duke tandem defeated Pepperdine’s 78th-ranked team of Michaela Capannolo and Yuki Chiang, 6-4, 6-3. Following an evenly contested first set, Capra and Mar fell behind early in the second set, 1-3. Showing no signs of panic, the Duke doubles team responded by winning five consecutive games to take the second set, 6-3. With the victory, Mar and Capra improved to 22-6 this season, becoming the 14th Duke pair to win 22 doubles matches in a season.
Goldfeld is scheduled to face UCLA’s 13th-ranked Chanelle Van Nguyen in the quarterfinal round while Capra must defeat Georgia State’s 22nd-ranked Abigail Tere-Apisah in order to reach the semifinal round of the tournament. In doubles, Mar and Capra are set to compete against North Carolina’s 13th-ranked Caroline Price and Whitney Kay in the doubles quarterfinal.